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Hyperion Records

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Ŕ l'ombres des bosquets chante un jeune počte by Jean-Louis-Ernest Meissonier (1815-1891)
Reproduced by permission of The Wallace Collection, London / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDA66856
Recording details: January 1996
Rosslyn Hill Unitarian Chapel, Hampstead, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Arthur Johnson
Engineered by Antony Howell & Julian Millard
Release date: January 1997
Total duration: 1 minutes 24 seconds

First line:
Comment, disaient-ils
author of text
Les rayons et les ombres (No 23)

This is another poem set by Liszt (under the title Comment disaient-ils) although the song by Bizet (also Guitare) is probably more famous; there is also an estimable setting of the words by Lalo. In 1851 the sixteen-year-old Saint-Saëns shows a great deal of flair: interesting points are the accelerando for the pianist in the opening bars that gives the song an air of improvisation, and a wide-ranging vocal line which climbs the stave impetuously, covering the distance of a tenth in a single dramatic gesture at ‘Fuir les alguazils’.

The song is dedicated to the composer Augusta Holmès to whom it was said that the composer was attracted, although one can scarcely imagine this celebrated Amazon in conjunction with the frail long-nosed youth.

from notes by Graham Johnson © 1997

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